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Al Jazeera World News

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00:30:00

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Syria 6, U.s. 6, France 5, Havana 4, Pakistan 4, Aleppo 4, Lance Armstrong 3, New York 3, Us 3, Seattle 3, Andrew Cuomo 2, Chavez 2, Hugo Chavez 2, Shannon 2, Cuba 2, Caracas 2, Europe 2, Mali 2, India 2, Venezuela 2,
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   news offers a variety of perspectives.  

    January 15, 2013
    7:00 - 7:29pm PST  

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>> two bomb blast targeting the university in syria. the target was the university in aleppo. both sides are blaming each other for the attack. also making headlines this hour , hundreds more troops into mali as they battle the rebels. new york governor signs a law to prevent weapons getting into the wrong hands.
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uncertainty over whether lance armstrong confesses to doping in a television interview. in syria, two bomb blasts at a university has killed at least 80 people. dozens of others were wounded in that attack. opposition activists are blaming the government. >> the first day of school exams for many students at aleppo .niversity, and then guesthis what residents of syria's largest city described as to attacks on the campus. one was near campus accommodation where as many as 30,000 people live. many of them had moved there to
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escape violence and other areas of aleppo. some said the blast came from rocket attacks and planned opposition fighters. >> the cowardly terrorist act that targeted students at the university of aleppo. mr. president, we have always said that the terrorist armed groups in my country take advantage of the security council meeting at perpetrated terrorist acts in syria, and this is indeed what happened today. >> opposition groups say it was military, some say an aerial attack. some said it appeared to be for missiles launched from the ground. some neighborhoods have been destroyed while other groups say they control other parts of the city. this attack has left many casualties among students. people who are trying to improve their lives, despite destruction happening all around them.
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>> french air force jets have spent a six day bombing target in mali. they are supporting a government offensive against rebels in the north. about 750 french soldiers are there and more are on the way. >> this is an army that is growing bigger every day. france plans to double the number of its soldiers in mali to nearly -- this is not stop the rebels gaining ground. armed rebels still control a town four kilometers north of the capital. >> we must not underestimate the enemy. >> the french do not want to do this alone and are pushing for a west african force.
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at a meeting, the military heads decided to deploy hundreds of nigerian soldiers in the next 24 hours. >> it is as simple as that. >> was the force heads north, it will face a determined coalition of armed groups. the friend said they are targeting rebels with links to al qaeda, but the region has a mixture of ethnic groups and secularists. they declared independence in last year -- last year. many have fled from the capital, fearful of revenge attacks. he decided to stay and help promote his people's culture. he said they want peace and
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reject a strict islamic laws imposed by some. >> you can say that maybe it is a fringe group of rebels, but most tuaregs are not part of this rebellion. >> the rebels say they are open to negotiations but have not ruled out attempts to capture the city. the french join the conflict after a plea from the malian government. it was supposed to be a short deployment but has turned into a bloody campaign. >> while france has honored a helicopter pilot killed during the first day of its intervention in mali, he was cleared -- he was killed by rebel fire. french president francois holland says he stands by his decision to send troops into the country. >> it had not taken this
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decision on friday morning, where would mali be now? given their intention to go and seek a position which included other african countries, all countries recognize that france faced up to its responsibility. >> of pakistan soter has been killed of a disputed border in kashmir. -- a pakistan's older has been killed. india has yet to respond to the claim. so far, three pakistani and two indian soldiers have been killed in the area since the beginning of this year. as the situation on the border with india heats up, there is political tension brewing inside the country. pakistan's supreme court has ordered the arrest of the country's prime minister. tens of thousands of people are protesting through the night, calling for the government to stand down. the latest from islamabad.
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>> on watch from above and on the ground, security teams stop tens of thousands of people from gathering in the capital. that have come on the call of a cleric who is demanding the removal of air represented from the national information assembly. >> we have to be just. we have to be fair. >> he also thanked the highest court. 16 others have been implicated in the corruption case. the court once the prime minister to appear on wednesday. there are reports of protests and the stock market plunged. this is else supporters reacted.
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the court order has motivated this crowd. his slogans may be popular, but he is leading a party that is not even registered to take part in the elections and many want to know who is financially backing him. political leaders are working to resolve this crisis. >> there are a lot of suspicion among the government and its coalition, but even among opposition and the main opposition party, that have taken a very strong stand against him. they are saying that whatever he is doing is derailing an attempt -- is attempting to derail democracy. >> pakistan will go to the polls later this year for the first peaceful transition of power under an elected government. some say the march and the prevailing political uncertainty will make that difficult.
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>> in the u.s., new york state is announcing some of the toughest gun control laws in the country. governor andrew cuomo signed legislation that strengthened the ban on assault weapons and aims to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill. >> background checks on all private sales -- smart, because the old system made no sense. if you want to a gun dealer to buy a gun, then you had to go through a background check. if you could not pass a check, u bought the gun privately. seven bullets in a gun? high-capacity magazines give you the capacity to kill a large number of human beings in a very short time is nonsensical to a civil society. >> meanwhile, u.s. president barack obama is expected to
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approve a proposal banning sale of assault weapons. it's been just a month since 26 children were -- 20 children were gunned down in a classroom. president obama is likely to suggest expanding background checks for all gun sales and pushing forward and assault weapons ban and limiting the number bullets that can be in a clip. no one is talking about doing anything other than registering the assault weapons that are already in existence in this country. they are talking about banning future production. he knows he will have a tough fight in congress. we expect he will surround himself with concern school children as he talks to people through the camera. u.s. talk-show host oprah winfrey has been speaking about her interview lance armstrong. she would not confirm whether or
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not he confessed to taking drugs. the highly anticipated interview airs on thursday. >> it is a confession. >> a coup for oprah winfrey's fledgling network, but she gave few clues about what lance armstrong actually told her about alleged dumping. >> i would say he did not come clean in the manner i expected. it was surprising to me. i would say that for myself, my team, all of us in the room, we were mesmerized. >> armstrong's appearance on an entertainment show raised questions over why he did not subject himself to rigorous questioning from journalist. >> i felt that he was awful. i thought that he was serious. -- i felt that he was all full. i felt that he certainly had prepared himself for this moment -- he was thoughtful. the u.s. anti-dumping
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administration pulled no punches. >> it paints an undeniable web of the most sophisticated, professionalized drug program we have ever seen. >> armstrong was later stripped of all seven tour de france titles by the sport's world governing body. now it seems any impression he might have made on oprah winfrey might not be enough. he is urged to testify under oath. ? runs a website for cycling enthusiasts. >> regardless of anyone else's livelihood or career, he stepped on everybody's resolve to get to the top. now he has been cornered and the only way for him to have any kind of redemption is to do what he's doing right now. this kind of a bittersweet ending. >> he says he is doubtful armstrong could have cheated for
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so long without help from the highest level of sport. expect bad news to continue for cycling for some time to come. there rumors for years that armstrong was a doping but he always denied it. now the world waits to find out what overmanned by "he did not come clean in the manner i expected." -- to find out what's oprah meant. >> the top stories on al jazeera at this hour, the syrian government and opposition fighters are blaming each other for a twin blast at a university. more than 80 people were killed, many of them students. france is preparing to send hundreds more troops to mali in the campaign against al qaeda- linked rebels. york state governor andrew cuomo has signed into law custom gun control measures.
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more on our top story and the conflict in syria. the kurdish minority plan active role in the fight against bashar al-assad. they are now learning lessons from their iraqi neighbors. >> ahmed is a syrian kurd. he left seven months ago. he wants his wife to be recognized in the new syria as a kurd. >> kurds want our rights and to be recognized as kurds. many neighboring countries with the region as an example. a booming kissimmee-autonomous territory with vast natural resources -- a booming
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autonomous territory. syrian kurds are being encouraged to establish their own autonomous region in the north. the president of the kurdish region admits training syrian kurds to run their own region. he also pushed syrian kurds to unite in order to gain their rights. the supreme kurdish body was born last july, but the mistrust among its members remains the. the democratic union party now control several syrian towns and cities as the government forces withdrew and has its own checkpoints. opponents say the group is an offshoot of the turkish kurdistan workers party and is an ally of the syrian regime.
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>> these are all lies. we suffered a lot from this regime. for now, our strategy is to build a democratic, pluralistic society. pyd once democratic self rule in our area. , other groups say kurds should leave their differences aside and seeks this opportunity. the future of the kurdish people is in danger. we are facing a historic opportunity to achieve our rights. if we do not see it, the chance will not come again. >> more than 30 million kurds are in iraq and syria. some might accept a federal region, but for most, the aspiration to create a greater kurdistan will never fade away.
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>> 51 cases of cholera have been reported. health officials said the government is taking measures to contain the outbreak. several businesses have been shut down in the worst affected areas of the city. >> there have been rumors for days near havana about a cholera outbreak but it was not officially confirmed until early tuesday when officials put on the front page of the state communist paper a report saying koran has been confirmed here in havana. this is the biggest outbreak of the disease in decades and officials are tracing the outbreak to someone in july in the east of the country when there was an earlier outbreak. according to the report, officials say this outbreak is in its expansion phase. they say they have it under control. they are urging people here in havana and elsewhere to be meticulous with hygiene, to wash
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their hands very well, eat well cooked vegetables, and make sure they are not contaminating themselves or others through any non hygienic practices. >> hugo chavez is recording -- responding to medical treatment, according to his deputy. the annual state of the nation speech was delivered. it warned the opposition will not let the government take advantage of his absence. >> would say that our commander is overcoming the challenge. he is making progress. that fills us with great joy, not only as human beings, but as patriots. >> i cannot allow anyone, no matter his or her name, to set this country on fire. we will not permitted, whoever it is, by whatever name he or she goes by. nobody will set fire to venezuela. >> with hugo chavez recovering in cuba, many venezuelans are
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worrying about the future of the country. our latin-american editor reports from caracas. >> at this market in caracas, people go about their business in you -- as usual, even in the absence of their presidents. he has confidence in the bryce president bge in the vice president and ministers who have been in charge for five weeks. >> they are educated and prepared. the country is in good hands. even though we want chavez to recover and come back. >> it was just three months ago that a majority of venezuelas reelected their charismatic and controversial president. only to see him come down with cancer yet again. >> first he missed his own inauguration on january 10 before the national assembly that you see behind me. and now, his annual message to the nation is being read by the vice-president.
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clearly there is an attempt to show that the government is functioning normally. >> opponents claim the capital of venezuela has been transferred to cuba. >> every week we see our political leaders moving to havana to take decisions that affect us all. we represent half the country, but they refused to talk to us because they are more interested in receiving orders from the castro brothers. >> they insist the inner circle is simply keeping the president informed in his absence. >> all of our institutions are working. the hot headed dennis the world of the opposition. >> while the vice president may be filling the president's shoes, he has signed at least 20 degrees, but he has limited powers. >> i think that in 90 or 120 days, president chavez will be
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declared permanently absent. there will be called for elections 30 days later. the country cannot withstand the situation in definitely. >> the country seems to be taking each day at a time, looking for a sign from the president, who is still fighting for his life. >> europe's highest court has ruled that a british woman did suffered discrimination at the hands of her employer for wearing a crucifix around her neck. the court ruled against free under british -- three other british christians who alleged discrimination protect the quietly spoken 60-year-old, nadia eweida, seems an unlikely champion, but she has won the right to express her face by
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wearing a crucifix at work. british airways had argued the crucifix detracted from their companies uniform, but the judge decided that religious belief is more important than corporate image. >> it is a wake-up call that employers cannot pick and choose to favor one religion over another. >> a cases rely on articles 9 and 14 of the convention of human rights to protect rights of the freedom of thought, conscience, and religion. the other three appeals were rejected. and nurse was told that her hospital employers were within their rights to rule that her crucifix necklace was a health and safety risk. >> to be suddenly put in a position between regret had to choose between a professional love with a passion or my faith, i chose my faith.
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i don't feel that any christian or anyone with any strong religious views should be put in that position. >> in today's largely secular europe, it seems that legislation and religious freedoms are increasingly acting at loggerheads to each other. these four british cases were underscored by a feeling among campaigners that christianity is not being afforded the same degree of protection as afforded to other religions. the senior church of england cleric has urged more tolerant of christian traditions, but secular campaigners have welcomed these rulings. >> it is one thing to have a belief and to be able to express that belief, but in this country we have decided we are not going to withhold sound judgment against people because they are gay. >> a christian campaigners say
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they will now appeal to the grand chamber to try to overturn this latest ruling. largest retailer teeters on the brink of financial collapse. more than four thousand people could lose their jobs. the 89-year-old company has been losing market share to internet sales and downloads. renault says it plans to cut 7500 jobs. the cuts will amount to 14% of staff. the company says it has to boost competitiveness as european markets slump. the u.s. is known for its car cultural, with many americans driving big gas guzzling vehicles. now in many places, to wield a replacing fore. this report from seattle in the state of washington -- two
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wheels are replacing four. >> the streets are full of a steady stream of bicyclist riding to work. shannon rights 10 kilometers to and from work every day. >> i started being a full-time commuter in april 2010. i rode my bike to work one day and fell in love with that, and i have been writing every day since. >> on a bridge leading toward downtown, a counter tallies up the number by passing by. more than 100,000 since october. nearby, we met the seattle mayor, who was also biking to work. >> what you see in cities across the country is that mayors are looking to accommodate the growing demands a bicyclist. new york, chicago, said francisco, washington d.c., major cities are all embracing bicycling as an alternative for
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those who want to take it. >> less than 2% of trips in the u.s. are taken by bicycle, but the two-wheel trend is growing. analysts say it will shift away from americans traditional reliance on the family automobile. >> the car is not on its way out, and i would support -- our be surprised to see it ever on its way out. however, it will none have the dominant position that has today. >> in seattle, employers see bike lanes as an asset. >> the business is we are trying to attract want to hire young people from around the country, and they want to bike to work. they don't want to be stuck in a car. >> there's even a new uproar rebuilding designed around the needs of bike riders. this development will have a bike shop, special bike storage areas, and direct access to it network of downtown bike trails. >> we hope a lot of people in this building will not even own cars.
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we would like to see them save money by not having to own a car. >> shannon does not need any extra inducement to get on her bike. >> i am lucky to be able to live here and right alongside the water and engage with the elements. >> h.g. wells said, every time i see an adult on a bicycle,
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